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Just how good is a blood alcohol content urine test?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2021 | Drunk Driving Defense

In New Hampshire, you’ll be asked to take a urine test, breath test or blood test if an officer believes that you are driving while intoxicated. New Hampshire’s implied consent law states that you agree that if you are stopped and asked for a chemical test, then you will comply. This is an agreement you have to make to get your license.

Of the three kinds of chemical tests, the least-commonly used is the urine test. A urine test is not usually seen as being as reliable as a Breathalyzer test or a blood test, but it may be used in some cases. Usually, this kind of test is only used when no other type is available or if someone specifically asks for it.

What’s the problem with a urine test for a DWI?

The biggest problem with a urine test is that it doesn’t necessarily state what your blood alcohol content is at the time of the traffic stop. Alcohol can remain in your urine for up to 24 hours, and it may not show up on the test until at least two hours since your last drink. As a result, the test may be skewed.

Positive tests may not mean that you were intoxicated while driving. Negative tests may not mean that you weren’t. This is why urine tests are not often employed. Additionally, these tests can be ruined if someone dilutes or substitutes the sample. Chugging water, for example, could end up diluting your urine and affecting the test.

Studies have shown that results from urine tests could be both much higher or lower than the actual BAC of the person’s blood at the time of the test. Additionally, since a urine test typically cannot be performed at the time of the incident, the sample could be affected by how much time has passed.

If you took a urine test, you can mount a solid defense

Since these tests are not particularly accurate, you should be able to mount a solid defense against a claim that you were intoxicated while driving despite the outcome of a urine test. It’s a smart choice to review the situation with your attorney before deciding how to move forward.

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